April 13, 2008

WA: catching up with indigent defense

Back in Gray Sky Country now. On Friday we were at Doheny Beach (home of Surfer Joe), while in Olympia the Office of Public Defense was releasing its big report on the state of Washington State public defense (pdf here).

From the Olympian:

Gaps found in legal defense

A new report shows state funding is helping some counties make sure poorer people accused of crimes get fairly defended in court, but there still are glaring gaps in the legal system... Seattle University law professor Robert Boruchowitz called the situation a crisis because poor juvenile defendants still are appearing in courts in 17 counties without a public-funded lawyer. The report shows low pay and high caseloads are a problem mainly in smaller or rural communities...

From the Columbian (Vancouver / Clark County):

Report praises county’s legal assistance for poor defendants

Clark County received credit for hiring an indigent defense services coordinator and wasn’t singled out for anything troubling in a statewide report on the quality of legal representation afforded poor criminal defendants...

From the Kitsap Sun:

Embodying Gideon

Brush off your high school government textbooks: who here remembers Clarence Earl Gideon?

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I took a look at the report which indicated that several counties had passed pd standard ordinances. "good news" I then called a member of my former office and was advised that at least in that county, the ordinance was a non binding resolution. The report from opd does not mention this significant fact.